The cancer protein that indicates which tumors are ‘on’ could lead to therapies to keep them ‘off’ forever. A team of scientists from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Canada found a specific protein that activates cancer in the human body. It is not limited to a specific type of cancerous condition but appears to be common to all variants seen by medicine thus far
The study was published by the journal Cancer Cell, and for the first time categorizes cancer types into two large groups. Those that have the presence of the Yes-Associated Protein (or YAP), and those that do not. After months of genetic study, the researchers realized that it localizes in tumors, with a specific marker that ‘turns it on’ or ‘turns it off.
‘YAP-on’ cancers, in which the protein is activated, need YAP to grow and survive. On the contrary, ‘YAP-off’ cancers stop growing when we activate it
The ‘active’ signals make cancer cells stick together more easily. On the contrary, when the YAP is ‘off’, the malignant microorganisms do not have the same behavior. For this reason, Bremner says, this cancer protein could serve as an anchor for certain drugs to be more effective.
“This simple, binary rule that we discovered could expose various strategies for treating many cancers that fall into the YAP-off or YAP-on superclasses,” explains study co-author Del Pearson. The lethality of cancerous tumors, can be deactivated if we achieve more complete understanding of the YAP protein. Thus, new treatments can be developed against the different types of cancer that exist.